One of the topics that people we support have questions about is housing options. Key factors in determining housing situations include:
- A preference for living alone or with others
- The need for care services or not (and the level needed)
- Payment options
If someone is comfortable living independently, traditional homes and apartments, including for low-income levels, can be considered. People can own or rent their place and also decide whether or not to hire staff to come to the home. Individuals can decide whether they want (and can afford) to live alone or with others and share the cost. The website www.housinglink.org is a useful resource to search for places. In the Twin Cities, there are also some organizations that support housing specifically for people with disabilities, such as JHAP (Cornerstone Creek), Fraser (which uses income-based housing), and Project for Pride in Living. When people are living independently, they can arrange for in-home services for their desired frequency. In roommate situations, services can come from different providers. Payment for housing can be done through Section 8, Income Based Housing, Section 42, MSA, MSA Housing Assistance, and other economic assistance programs that can be used to be able to help pay for the cost of rent.
If constant in-house services are needed, a group home (including adult foster care or board and lodge facilities), an assisted living facility, or a long-term care facility may prove to be a better route to go. Group homes offer housing with services, and services can vary from just one meal per day to 24-hour assistance on site. Individuals who qualify for a waiver may use this funding for the services. However, the cost to live at the site (the rent, the utilities expense, and food) must be paid with income, savings, Housing Support (formerly Group Residential Housing), social security income, or a combination of these. There are some places that run “supported living apartments” as well. These include Hammer, Fraser, Dungarvin, etc., with funding operating similarly to a group home. Staff is available 24/7 like a group home, but people have their own apartment and the capability to access staff when needed, and on a scheduled basis.